Monday, March 17, 2014

Save the Bees by Growing these Common Annuals, Perennials and Herbs from Seed

With Bee populations still unstable, we should all do our part to provide them more nourishment in our growing areas. Artist Hannah Rosengren of Portland, Maine offers these attractive and useful prints in her shop to educate people about what gardeners can plant to provide more food for bees. Hannah includes the following recommendations in her poster:

Herbs: Lavender, Sage, Cilantro, Thyme, Fennel, and Borage
Perennials: Crocus, Buttercup, Aster, Hollyhock, Anenome, Snowdrops and Geranium
Annuals: Calendula, Sweet Alyssum, Poppy, Sunflower, Zinnia, Cleome and Heliotrope

The Borage is blooming in our garden right now. The flowers are so pretty. This is the first year that I have grown it.  I thought I was going to loose it when it dried out once, but it was very resilient.

I have found in our garden that the bees are most attracted to the Dotted Horsemint, Monarda punctata.  This makes a lot of sense considering that Dotted Horsemint is a type of Bee Balm. The leaves of this plant taste a lot like Thyme. I use it to make cough syrup. It can also be numbing for tooth ache. There is always a swarm of bees around our plants in the summer, especially when it first starts to bloom.

We are having a seed pack giveaway on our blog right now with one day left to enter. Some seeds for bees from Hannah's poster including Alyssum and Cilantro are included. Be sure to check it out and enter to win, or look for seed packs of these common plants from Organic growers and seed suppliers.  It is best to grow from seed, or buy plants from a grower who does not treat their plants with pesticides. Big box stores such as Home Depot sell plants which may be contaminated with pesticide that are neurotoxic to bees according to this study by Friends of Earth.

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